Burial urns found in Ramanathapuram village

March 10, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:46 am IST - RAMANATHAPURAM:

Artefacts recovered from a megalithic burial site at Sengamadai displayed at Ramalinga Vilasam in Ramanathapuram.— Photo: L. Balachandar

Artefacts recovered from a megalithic burial site at Sengamadai displayed at Ramalinga Vilasam in Ramanathapuram.— Photo: L. Balachandar

The Department of Archaeology has recovered artefacts of Megalithic (iron-age) burial site, datable to circa 1000 BC, at Sengamadai village near RS Mangalam in Ramanathapuram district.

Curator of Ramalinga Vilasam Palace K. Sakthivel, and convenor of Tiruppullani Heritage Club V. Rajaguru recovered the artefacts from the deposit site of the temple tank at the village while undertaking a field survey.

Displaying the artefacts – red ware, black ware, red and black ware, parts of burial urns, decorated red ware, potsherds, remnants of ring stand and iron ore – to reporters here recently, Mr. Sakthivel said the recovery revealed that a King of Ramanathapuram had built a fort at the burial site about 300 years ago.

He said the villagers had desilted the tank about three years ago and the artefacts were found scattered on the bank of the tank. “Burial urns are also found inside the tank and this is the first time that parts of burial urns are recovered in the district,” he said.

The tank was located at the centre of the fort built by King Vijaya Ragunatha Sethupathy (1711-1725) at the burial site about 300 years ago.

The king’s other fort was located at Kamudhi and it is now maintained by the Archaeology Department.

During the iron-age also, there were separate residential and burial sites and the residential site could be located if the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) conducted an excavation, he said. About 300 metres from the burial site, there was a river and the residential site might be located on the bank of the river, he added.

Mr. Sakthivel said he would send a report to the State Department of Archaeology giving details of the artefacts recovered from the site and suggesting an excavation. The ASI would decide on the excavation after the department sent a detailed profile of the site, he said.

The ASI had conducted excavations at two sites in the district in the past and found that Azhagankulam belonged to the Sangam period and Theriruveli, the Historic period.

An excavation at Sengamadai was worth it as it appeared to belong to the Megalithic or Iron-age period, he added.

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